MMA: Strict Covid-19 protocols in place ahead of One Championship's Reign of Dynasties event

The measures include frequent testing, the creation of a bubble and strict regulation of who can enter the event venue. PHOTO: ONE CHAMPIONSHIP

SINGAPORE - Ahead of One Championship's closed-door Reign of Dynasties event on Friday (Oct 9), its chief executive, Mr Chatri Sityodtong, revealed the safety protocols that will be in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

In a conference call with the media on Tuesday, he talked about the measures, which include frequent testing, the creation of a bubble and strict regulation of who can enter the event venue, the Singapore Indoor Stadium, on Friday.

"Everything is new and we are working very closely with various agencies of the Singapore Government, so many agencies are involved with helping us," he said.

Overseas-based fighters will be tested four times - before they fly to Singapore, upon arrival, before and after the fight - while others will be tested twice.

Out of the 12 fighters, five, who hail from Australia, China and Malaysia, have flown in for the event.

After being tested upon arrival in Singapore, athletes, cornermen and staff are required to remain in isolation until they receive a negative test result.

Should anyone test positive, Chatri said "the relevant public health measures would apply to the participants as necessary".

According to the Ministry of Health's (MOH) website, anyone with a positive test result will be contacted by the MOH and a healthcare provider, who will arrange for them to be transported to a healthcare facility.

While they are in Singapore, travelling is limited to the event bubble.

Training is allowed, but only at private designated areas within the hotel and fighters will have to follow strict schedules.

Mr Chatri added that liaison officials will accompany athletes at all times.

Reign of Dynasties will feature six bouts and is the first live sports event that will be held in Singapore since the pandemic obliterated the Republic's sports calendar, which saw marquee events such as the Formula One's Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix, HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens and football's International Champions Cup axed.

Friday's event is headlined by Thai Sam-A Gaiyanghadao defending his strawweight muay thai world championship against Australian Josh Tonna.

The mixed martial arts promotion's last event here, King of the Jungle, which took place on Feb 28, was also held behind closed doors.

Singapore Tourism Board director of sports Ong Ling Lee said: "We are pleased to work with One Championship to bring One: Reign of Dynasties to Singapore.

"Together, we will test-bed appropriate safe management measures in this important production pilot that could pave the way for sports events to take place in the future."

One is in discussions with other countries' governments to stage more international events.

Its next event is on Oct 30, although details will only be released next week.

The Oct 30 event will see Singapore's Christian Lee defend his lightweight world title against undefeated Luri Lapicus of Moldova, while the Republic's Tiffany Teo will get another shot at the strawweight world title against China's Xiong Jing Nan, who defeated her the previous time they fought.

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